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Monday, March 25, 2013

Tonight in Music: Treefort Fest Afterparty, David Dondero, Doldrums & More

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Mon, Mar 25, 2013 at 10:07 AM


TREEFORT FEST AFTERPARTY: ANIMAL EYES, ASH REITER, PONY VILLAGE, COUCHES, TALKATIVE
(Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water) Boise's Treefort Music Fest is trickling West. Animal Eyes is the lone act not to have made an appearance at Treefort, having just come off a nationwide tour. Masters, if not inventors, of the power accordion and the boisterous lounge chorus, they front a lineup of good-time, easy-to-like pop music from Alaska and Oregon. Former Oakland schoolteacher Ash Reiter and her eponymous band create a cocoon of ooh-la-las and tambourine-inflected choruses on their enjoyable album Hola. Evoking girl groups as much as Nancy Sinatra torch songs, their airy harmonies and affable sunniness transcend decades. Couches, also from the Bay Area, specialize in sarcasm-infused indie pop, the perfect foil for the über-sincere Pony Village, an Oregon quintet whose country-tinged harmonies evoke the rustier parts of the Oregon Coast. Talkative are an experimental noise band originally from Eugene whose barrage of lyrics is buried under strata of echoes and guitar jangle. REBECCA WILSON


DAVID DONDERO, TYLER FORTIER
(Al's Den, 303 SW 12th) Traveling songsmith David Dondero is apparently just going by his surname for this batch of gigs, a weeklong residency in the basement of McMenamins' Crystal Hotel featuring a special guest each night. Still, Dondero is the reason to go—as evidenced by brilliant albums like South of the South, Simple Love, and #Zero with a Bullet, Dondero is a heartbreaker of the most expert and devastating sort. Each of Dondero's songs are like open wounds, raw and pulsing with life but extraordinarily painful to stare into for long periods of time. Still, tunes like "Pornographic Love Song" and "Rothko Chapel" are masterpieces, the work of one of America's best living songwriters. He's playing for free all week long. You owe it to yourself to catch a show. Or seven. NED LANNAMANN


DOLDRUMS, SEAN NICHOLAS SAVAGE, STRATEGY

(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Doldrums is 23-year-old Canadian Airick Woodhead, who just dropped the album Lesser Evil on Arbutus Records. The songs skew toward the cute and hazy end of the electronic-pop spectrum. Sometimes Doldrums dips into bass music's trunk-rattling low-end pummel; sometimes he tilts into Mouse on Mars' wonderfully wobbly songcraft embellished with animalistic gurgles, birdsong twittering, and insectoid chittering; sometimes he achieves a weird keyboard drone that hovers between those made famous by Soft Machine and This Heat. Vocally, dude sounds like a lady, but he can sing better and with more sweet emotion than most one-man electro projects. Woodhead reportedly sometimes has two drummers accompanying him live; let's hope they appear tonight to augment Doldrums' intricately wonky beat programming. DAVE SEGAL


THE JOY FORMIDABLE, GUARDS, FORT LEAN
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) The Joy Formidable is a small band that plays big songs. Well, I say big—but let's go with gargantuan. Their arena-made dynamics cause nonstop comparisons to Muse, especially after their run opening for the Operatic Ones. That seems unfair, though, because the Joy Formidable has never once caused me to roll my eyes. Their second album, Wolf's Law, captures the essence of big UK rock (they're Welsh) with the propulsive, molar-jarring depth of My Bloody Valentine and guitar riffs that evoke Zeppelin at their nerdiest. The occasional dreamy shoegaze moment keeps things from getting too exhausting. Ritzy Bryan is the real deal—a rock 'n'roll frontwoman who sucks you close with her breathy voice, which somehow never gets lost beneath the wail of guitars. RW

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